Therapists and doctors are often affected by burnout

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Therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers are often mentally stressed themselves

Especially in the helping professions, workers are quickly burned out. Psychiatrists, doctors, social workers, nurses and nurses are particularly affected by a possible burnout. Because of their activities, they often run the risk of becoming mentally and physically ill.

76 percent of young doctors are exhausted and demotivated
Therapists, doctors, nurses, educators and social workers: they all combine helping people. Often without thanks and with a lot of hostility from those who are cared for or cared for. The risk of getting sick yourself is extremely high. Health disorders due to stress and excessive workload often cause symptoms such as burnout syndrome. According to the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN), a good 76 percent of young doctors show signs of acute work overload because they are emotionally, physically exhausted and demotivated. In many cases, young doctors in particular pursue ideals in the interests of the patient, which are hardly reflected in practice. The result: The doctors are quickly disappointed because the professional life is different than in their idealized ideas. It is striking that especially young professionals quickly fall ill. According to the DGPPN, the risk of total exhaustion is particularly high in professional helper occupations. In the area of ​​psychotherapy and psychiatry, there are often strong symptoms. Psychiatrists report burnout, depression and other mental illnesses more often than other doctors.

Healthcare cost pressures
In the opinion of the medical-scientific society, the ever-increasing cost pressure in the healthcare system - with increasing quality requirements and patient numbers - is primarily responsible for this. Helpers have to do better and better work and care for more and more people at once. In addition, the emotional bonds that arise, which do not fail to appear when working with people, are also an increasing psychological burden for those affected. "In social work, building a relationship with the addressee is fundamental," says Gritli Bertram, social worker from Hanover. "On the other hand, that relationship is a burden because the fate of the individual also leaves traces on the helping person," adds the expert for trauma-centered pedagogy. In the professional world this transfer is called "secondary traumatization". The first warning signs can be sleep disorders, headaches, chronic fatigue or irritability.

Take the first warnings seriously
According to the DGPPN, the thesis that people who choose the professional field of psychiatry, social work or psychotherapy in the broader sense showed significant tendencies to mental disorders is not tenable. It is important for those affected to notice the first signs of exhaustion and to counteract them. If a burnout is detected too late, depression threatens. "The DGPPN recommends improving your own time management, using delegation opportunities for tasks or sometimes saying no and avoiding excessive overtime." If the first signs are already there, a cognitive behavioral therapy could be counteracted. In this form of therapy, patients learn to question their own behavioral structures, which, for example, have led to emotional and physical exhaustion. The goal of such therapy is to deal with stress better in the future and to pay attention to the signals of the body.

The topic "Burnout among professional helpers in psychiatry and psychotherapy" will be dealt with in some events at this year's DGPPN congress. Up to 10,000 trade visitors and guests are expected to attend the congress. The congress is the largest conference in Germany on the subject of mental illnesses. (sb)

Also read:
Burnout syndrome: total exhaustion
Burn-out patients keep silent about their suffering
Burnout syndrome affects more and more people
Underload makes you sick: the bore-out syndrome
Valerian & L-tryptophan: approaches to sleep disorders

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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Video: Self-care for Health Care Professionals: Strategies to Address Caring Work


  1. Romain

    Yes it's science fiction

  2. Jarren

    It just doesn't happen

  3. Glad

    A lot a lot

  4. Montie

    Bravo, your opinion will come in handy

  5. Osryd

    I can't take part in the discussion right now - there is no free time. But I'll be free - I will definitely write what I think.

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